Learning from the best

The annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, which wrapped up Sunday, is always jam-packed with tips, tools and advice for both novice and veteran investigators. But if, like me, you weren’t able to make it this year, there’s plenty of wisdom to be soaked up simply by scanning the #IRE18 feed on Twitter. Like this:

It’s well worth reading through the 2,000-plus tweets posted by reporters eager to share what they’d gleaned from some of the best in the business. But of course that takes time, so I’ve pulled out some pearls to ponder and resources to explore. 

It’s inspiring to see the camaraderie and generosity of journalists trying to help their colleagues up their game and find and tell the best stories they can. They’ve offered tips on tracking this administration’s daily assaults on science, human rights and democracy, and encouraged reporters to figure out how those abuses are playing out in their communities and how to give voices to those struggling to be heard.

The sessions covered an incredible diversity of topics, from tips on reporting techniques (software for data reporting, investigative interviewing tips, data visualization programs) to advice on covering specific issues (guns, healthcare, crime labs) and much more. I’ve highlighted below some tips and resources to introduce science journalists to the mindset and tools investigative reporters learn. But I encourage you to scroll through #IRE18. You might find just the tool you’ve been looking for to add depth to your reporting. 

Of course, virtual tips from the conference are great, but there’s no substitute for being there. Look who showed up this year.